Two smart marketing people resurrect some old films starring cowboy Smoky Callaway and put them on television. The films are a big hit and the star is in demand. Unfortunately no one can ... See full summary »
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Two smart marketing people resurrect some old films starring cowboy Smoky Callaway and put them on television. The films are a big hit and the star is in demand. Unfortunately no one can find him. When a lookalike sends in a photo, the marketing team hires him to impersonate Callaway. Things get sticky when the real Callaway eventually shows up. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sort of like a comedy variation on A FACE IN THE CROWD
While CALLAWAY WENT THATAWAY isn't the deepest film I've seen, it sure was very perceptive and fun to watch. I also wonder if maybe although the film has a disclaimer saying it ISN'T based on any celebrity they REALLY were lampooning several of the big-name cowboy stars (such as Gene Autry who was a lot like the original Callaway)--a lot like how A FACE IN THE CROWD was based on Arthur Godfrey, though the studio strongly denied this.
The film is about a cowboy movie star from a decade ago who has suddenly gained a new following with kids thanks to television--just like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers were re-discovered thanks to TV. As a result of his fame, the advertisers are anxious to find the actor who played Smokey Callaway so they can make more films as well as public appearances. The problem is that the actor was a big-time drinker and he just seemed to vanish after going on an extended bender in South America. Even a private eye (Jesse White) can't find the guy, so Dorothy McGuire and Fred MacMurray (who own the advertising agency) go in search of a double to pretend to be Callaway. In the process, they find a dead ringer--played by Howard Keel. The only problem is, eventually the drunk and nasty Callaway DOES resurface and they are in quite a quandary! The film has some nice comedic moments but late in the film it also becomes rather serious and romantic. Leonard Maltin's guide indicated the film was excellent until this change, but I actually liked the finished product. While not a great film, it was well worth seeing and quite perceptive about the private lives of some celebrities. Also, it's worth a look for some cameos of other stars playing themselves, such as Clark Gable and Dick Powell (among others).
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